World War I

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"I Want You" poster by James Montgomery Flagg

I Want You for U.S. Army : Nearest Recruiting Station was World War I propaganda recruitment poster created by James Montgomery Flagg, who was regarded for his political posters. I Want You for U.S. Army : Nearest Recruiting Station was published in 1917 and four million copies were released all over the nation. The intended audience of the propaganda poster was for the men of America. The United States just recently entered World War I at the time of the poster’s publication and the nation needed men to join the army and fight. The focal point of this poster is Uncle Sam, a personified embodiment of the United States government. Uncle Sam was a well known fictional figure and patriot was used to evoke national pride in men to join the army and help their country fight the war.

Have we forgotten, America, the battles our fathers fought?

Are we ashamed of our history? In the peace that fighting brought?
Must we be laughed at, America, while our swords turn weak with rust
Is the blood of our fathers wasted? And how have we treated their trust?
Is Columbia the gem of the ocean? Is Old Glory the pride of the Free?
Let’s forget every selfish emotion, United forever, let’s be!

Wake Up, America

Wake up, America, if we are called to war
Are we prepared to give our lives for our sweethearts and our wives?
Are our mothers and our homes worth fighting for?
Let us pray, God, for peace, but peace with honor
But let’s get ready to answer duty’s call
So when Old Glory stands unfurled
Let it mean to all the world:
America is ready, that’s all!

Do you remember George Washington that winter at Valley Forge?
Jackson and Custer and Farragut and of Perry at Fort George?
McKinley and Lincoln were fighting men
And the heroes our country knew simply crowd through history pages
Just think what they’ve done all for you!
Made Columbia the gem of the ocean
Made Old Glory the pride of the free
Shall we fail in our test of devotion?
Oh! What is our history to be?

Wake Up, America! was written by George Graff Jr who was an American songwriter. Graff was born August 5, 1886. Wake Up, America was published in 1916 by Leo Feist, Inc. The intended audience of Graff’s song were the American citizens who did not want to enter the war. Even though the United States did not officially enter the war until 1917 they still were involved by exporting supplies to allied countries. The purpose of targeting these citizens was to try and persuade them into favoring the war effort because the United States has not yet entered World War I. Also, Wake Up, America was intended to spark patriotism in Americans with the references to forefathers like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

100% american

The United States Treasury published this poster by Joseph Stern in 1918. The poster is intended to persuade American citizens into buying war bonds by challenging their patriotism. The poster also has images of American flags, cannons, and an eagle in effort to also promote patriotism. The purpose of the poster was to have more citizens buy war bonds as a way to support the war effort from home. War is very expensive and the United States needed as much money as possible so through the use of propaganda they tried to evoke citizens to help.